FIREFIGHTERS in Pendle have warned residents to take more care when parking their cars to avoid obstructing fire engines on emergency calls.

A Nelson crew on its way to a fire in Grove Street, in Barrowford, at 5.30am todaycould not get their vehicle near the house because of parked cars blocking the road.

On this occasion there were no flames to douse down and the elderly residents were already out of the house but the situation could have been more serious.

Sub-officer Ian Potter said: "If we can't get the fire engine to the fire then we can't do a lot to help people so I just want to warn people to be mindful when leaving their cars and have a quick look to make sure a fire engine could get down the street.

"If people are involved in a fire we might have to ram the cars out of the way or try and bump them out of the way manually.

"We do a risk assessment on the need to do that and in this case it wasn't necessary because the occupants were already out and safe. If they'd been hanging out of the window it would have been necessary."

A bedside lamp had fallen over and overheated and the pillows on a nearby bed had started to smoulder.

Mr Potter said: "The two elderly female residents were woken by the smoke alarm going off."